Chupacabra Picture

Chupacabra – South America

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The Chupacabra is a vampiric cryptid that is found in Latin American and Hispanic communities, particularly in Puerto Rico and Mexico. The name “Chupacabra” comes from the Spanish words “chupar” which means “to suck” and “cabra” which means goat which essentially means “goat sucker”.

Cryptid Name:Chupacabra / El Chupacabras
Location:Latin American and Hispanic regions, including Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the southwestern United States.
Map of where the Cupacabra was first reported
Category:Reptilian Cryptid
Description:Small, reptilian or alien-like creature with sharp fangs, glowing red eyes, sharp claws, spines or quills running down its back, hairless.
Size:Between 3 to 4 feet / 0.9 to 1.2 meters tall.
Behavior/Characteristics:Known for attacking and sucking the blood of livestock, leaving puncture wounds, nocturnal, solitary, aggressive.
Diet:Feeds on the blood of livestock, particularly goats, chickens, and other small animals.
Habitat/Environment:Rural areas.
Evidence:There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of the Chupacabra as a distinct species. Alleged evidence often turns out to be the result of known animal predation or diseases.
Sightings and Encounters:Numerous reports, sightings, and livestock deaths attributed to it, with spikes in public interest in the 1990s.
Skepticism/Explanations:Some scientists believe that the chupacabra is simply a myth, or that sightings of the creature can be explained by known animals, such as coyotes, dogs, or foxes with mange or other skin conditions.

What Does the Chupacabra Look Like?

Chupacabra Picture
Artist’s Impression Of The Chupacabra

The Chupacabra is described as a reptilian or alien-like creature with scaly skin and large, almond-shaped eyes that are either red, yellow, or black.

It has sharp fangs or teeth that it uses to puncture the skin of its prey and suck out its blood.

It has sharp claws and reports vary as to whether it walks on two legs or on all fours. When it stands on its hind legs it is said to be between 3 to 4 feet / 0.9 to 1.2 meters tall.

The Chupacabra Legend

The Chupacabra is a creature that is known for killing and drinking the blood from livestock and domestic animals such as goats, pigs, sheep cattle, dogs, rabbits, chickens, etc.

The Chupacabra was first reported in Puerto Rico in 1974 and since then there have been many reports received from South and Central America including some parts of the United States.

In the first Chupacabra incident, reports were received from farmers that livestock had been mauled and mutilated, and soon after that, a man by the name of Juan Muniz said that he had been attacked by the beast.

North American-based Hispanic cryptozoologist Scott Corrales, nevertheless, gathered and investigated Chupacabras reports in a levelheaded fashion, despite the media and Internet hysteria. Corrales points out that the modern reports really began in 1974, and Chupacabras folklore dates back to Taino Indian tales of the Maboya.

Cryptozoology A to Z

In the 1990s there were many attacks and the name “Chupacabra” was coined after 150 sheep were drained of their blood.

During this time eyewitnesses came forward with descriptions of the beast but the descriptions varied a lot ranging from descriptions of large, black dog-like creatures to more reptilian creatures with some even saying that the creature had wings.

Mexico reported its first chupacabra attacks in February 1996. Witness Benigno Cano, in Sinaloa, described a predator 35 in. tall, “with large, sharp fangs, red eyes, scales, and a dragon-like appearance.” Other witnesses spoke of black hair, pointed ears, and wings. A strange humanoid with large ears attacked sheep near Payogasta in February 2001, and a policeman in Guadalupe claimed injuries from a chupacabra in January 2004.

Hidden Animals: A Field Guide To Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and Other Elusive Creatures

In 1996 there were a number of very strange incidents that were blamed on the Chupacabra with some reports being received from other parts of the world as well.

Cupacabra Sketch
A Sketch of El Chupacabras
Source: LeCire

These included reports from Spanish Farmers in the Pyrenees Mountains who said that they found 600 sheep drained of their blood in April 1996. And, just one month later, 163 sheep mysteriously vanished without a trace.

Reports were also received from Portugal where Portuguese farmers reported that their sheep had been killed and their blood drained. They reported seeing a single puncture wound to the animal’s necks.

Russia reported its first killings in March 2005 when at least 30 sheep and 32 turkeys were found drained of their blood.

Similarly, in May 2007 farmers in Colombia reported that more than 300 of their sheep were killed in the same way.

Since 1996, there have been hundreds of animals killed in a similar way with the majority of the killings taking place in Puerto Rico and Chile but reports of chupacabra attacks were also reported by people in Arizona, Texas, California, and Costa Rica with some even claiming that attacks took place in their homes.

Chupacabra Investigations

Since the initial Chupacabra sightings, there have been many investigations to try to determine exactly what creature is responsible for the animal killings that have taken place since 1974. However, none of the investigations managed to gather concrete evidence to prove that the Chupacabra exists and in many cases, evidence could not be linked to known species of animals.

In 2005, Isaac Espinoza reportedly spent close to $6 million of his own money trying to track down the Chupacabra. He lived in the jungles of South America for eight months with a team of researchers, video and print journalists and local guides. During the course of the expedition the team had several close encounters with a creature that the researchers were not able to identify. The team was able to capture several of their encounters with the creature on film and it has all been turned over to the University of Texas for analysis. Hugo Mata, a professor of cryptozoology at the University of Texas, has said the hair and skin samples submitted by the team do not match any known species for that part of the world.

Strange Creatures (the Creatures of Cryptozoology)

Despite the many investigations that have been done, no one has been able to explain the large-scale deaths and disappearances of animals since the 1990s.

Possible Explanations & Theories

Many theories and explanations have been put forward for Chupacabra sightings and animal deaths including:

Known Predators

Many skeptics believe that chupacabra sightings and animal deaths can be attributed to known animal species such as dogs, coyotes, weasels, or wild cats. However, while these predators might leave puncture wounds on their prey, none of them are known to simply drink the animal’s blood without actually eating their prey.

Vampire Bats

Some researchers have suggested that the animal deaths could be explained by an unknown species of giant vampire bat. However, there are no known species of giant vampire bats that live in the areas where the animal deaths occurred.

Also, it must be noted that known species of vampire bats only drink small amounts of blood and these attacks are usually not fatal.

Vampire Bat
A Vampire Bat
Source: Uwe Schmidt

Disease and Parasites

Descriptions of the Chupacabra could be explained by animals suffering from skin diseases or parasites such as mange which causes animals to lose their fur giving them an otherworldly appearance.

Urban Legends

As Chupacabra sightings began to make headlines on local news stations and television during the 1990s, a surge of related stories followed. Some believe that the extensive media coverage played a significant role in the spreading of rumored sightings.

These media stories may have resulted in the misidentification or exaggeration of known animals. In some cases, animals with ailments like mange or sickness could have been mistaken as chupacabras due to their unusual appearance.


Some people have speculated that the Chupacabras could in fact be alien creatures as many of the descriptions given match the descriptions given by witnesses in UFO sightings.


It wouldn’t be unusual for at least some of the Chupacabra sightings and stories to be the result of hoaxes or pranks with people fabricating accounts to perpetuate and grow the legend.

Similar Cryptids


  • Hidden Animals: A Field Guide To Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and Other Elusive Creatures – Michael Newton
  • Princeton University
  • Cryptozoology A to Z – Loren Coleman
  • Strange Creatures (the Creatures of Cryptozoology) – Dino Brancato
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